I don't know why, but somehow at this time of year things build up in our pantry. We try to buy what we need and not succumb to the temptation of extra stuff that will go bad on the shelves and still there are days when I open the pantry and see onions with long green tails, shallots from who knows when, and slowly dehydrating heads of garlic that need saving. Today I pulled out the shallots and garlic and decided to roast them. I thought that applying some heat would be a good way to renew these dying alliums. I rubbed a pie pan with olive oil and then sliced off the tops of the heads of garlic. I arranged the garlic and shallots in the pan, drizzled them with olive oil and gave them a judicious application of salt. Then I covered the pan and roasted them in 375°F. oven for about 45 minutes, until the room was fragrant and the vegetables felt soft when poked through the foil. When they came out of the oven, the garlic was a pale golden brown with a velvety texture and the shallots were tender and slipped easily from their skins. I must admit that I ate a few shallots straight out of the pan as I peeled them and set them aide, likely to be paired with a steak and some yukon gold potatoes. The garlic was whipped into garlic butter and can also be used to top the steak but I also see it in bread dough, glazing pasta, under the skin of roasted chicken, finishing a pan of seared fish, tucked inside baked potatoes, and in any number of other applications. Instead of ending up in the trash these roasted alliums are ready to inspire new dishes.
February 3, 2005